One of the most devastating aspects of getting older is the fear of losing our ability to function independently, and even remember the faces and names of our loved ones.
Alzheimer's disease has long been the cause for so many individuals to lose their ability to remember, take care of themselves, even to think straight. Although slowing down is inevitable in the brains of the elderly, it can affect anyone, regardless of age. However, thanks to recent research --many of the devastating physical and mental symptoms of Alzheimer’s disease can in fact be avoidable.
A recent study conducted by professors and scientists of Purdue University in Indiana showed that polyphenols, a chemical found in concentrated amounts in darker colored berries and select vegetables and foods, may be linked to lowering the risk of Alzheimer's in older adults.
How You Can Actively Fight Against Alzheimer’s
"The most important thing is that we follow the repetitive administration of this compound,” says Mario Ferruzzi, a Purdue associate professor of food science and author of the above study. "This shows that reasonable and chronic consumption of these products may be the way to go, rather than single, high doses, similar to drugs. It's like eating an apple a day, not a case of apples over two days every month."
Considering that every single person eats at least 2-3 meals a day, having some of that daily food be high in polyphenols can allegedly be as potent --if not possibly more helpful-- than individual doses of artificial drugs.
Foods known to be high in polyphenols are the ones that are completely natural, as untouched as possible by chemicals and are often darker in color. Berries, such as blueberries, and blackberries, and spices such as cloves and even chestnuts are just a few examples of ingredients high in polyphenols.
However, according to the study, one of the most polyphenol-rich foods are grapes and other grape byproducts.
“Grape and grape derived supplements have demonstrated biological activities consistent with prevention and/or amelioration of [Alzheimer's Disease]” reports the study. “Long-term administration of a polyphenol rich grape seed extract, ... in particular has demonstrated the ability to exert potent anti-Aβ-oligomerization activity.”
In plain English, that means that a diet enriched in grapes and grape seed extract products may assist in fighting against many of the symptoms of Alzheimer's Disease.
Ease Into a Polyphenol-Rich Diet, Don’t Just Jump In
Increasing the rate of how often you indulge in polyphenol-rich foods is the key to unlocking countless health benefits, but Ferruzzi says not to overdo it with these foods. Instead, ease into a polyphenol-rich diet and increase gradually over time. Past that, polyphenol rich foods should not be the seen as an overall replacement for modern ‘medicine’.
"It could become important in terms of side effects," Ferruzzi said. "You could be overdosing because the body is adapting and absorbing or metabolizing these compounds differently over time."
Starting on a polyphenol-rich diet is not just for individuals who are looking to prevent diseases and illnesses. Polyphenols offer benefits when taken in consistent doses, and offer benefits of smoother digestion as they assist in the development of proper gut bacteria, longer lasting energy all day long, and even present possible signs of weight loss as your diet is corrected.
For those looking to power their bodies with fuels that are more than just delicious in flavorings, polyphenols are the energy source you're looking for.
Ferruzzi, Mario G. et al. “Bioavailability of Gallic Acid and Catechins from Grape Seed Polyphenol Extract Is Improved by Repeated Dosing in Rats: Implications for Treatment in Alzheimer’s Disease.” Journal of Alzheimer’s disease. 2009.
Meydani, Mohsen, and Syeda T. Hasan. "Dietary Polyphenols And Obesity." Nutrients. 2010.
Disclaimer: This article is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. Seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with questions regarding a medical condition. Do not disregard professional medical advice or delay seeking it because of something you have read here. This article is for general information only.